vs. Santa Clara | Friday, September 14 | Indianapolis, Ind. | 10:00 a.m.
@ Butler | Friday, September 14 | Indianapolis, Ind. | 7:00 p.m.
vs. Kent State | Saturday, September 15 | Indianapolis, Ind. | 1:00 p.m.
The Cleveland State volleyball team will hit the road for the final three matches of non-league play this weekend, traveling to Indianapolis, Ind. for the Bulldog Brawl. As part of the two-day tournament, the Vikings will take on Santa Clara (Friday, September 14 - 10:00 a.m.), Butler (Friday, September 14 - 7:00 p.m.) and Kent State (Saturday, September 15 - 1:00 p.m.). Entering the weekend, Cleveland State stands at 4-5 on the young season.
BULLDOG BRAWL FIELD
Santa Clara | The Broncos enter the weekend with a 4-5 overall record, and most recently dropped a pair of matches against Boise State and UC Davis at their home invitational. This weekend's tournament will be start of a five-match roadswing for Santa Clara, as they will begin West Coast Conference play on the road next week.
Butler | The Bulldogs currently stand at 1-8 on the season, with their lone win coming in a 3-0 decision against Eastern Illinois. This will be the second home tournament for Butler this season, with the Bulldogs going 1-2 during their first invitiational.
Kent State | The Flashes enter this weekend with a 6-5 record on the year, most recently going 1-2 at the La Salle Invitational, picking up a 3-0 victory over NJIT last time out. This weekend's tournament will also be the start of five-match roadswing for the Flashes, as they will begin MAC play on the road next week.
VIKINGS TABBED HORIZON LEAGUE PRESEASON FAVORITES
Last month the Vikings were selected to repeat as Horizon League Champions, as they were tabbed the Horizon League Preseason favorite, picking up 69 points and four first place votes in the league's preseason poll. The Vikings are three-time defending Horizon League Champions, and were named the preseason favorite for the third straight season.
POSTSEASON HONOREES RETURN
The 2018 Vikings welcome back two Horizon League postseason honorees in Sara Skeens and Emily DeGeorge, while Chuck Voss returns as the reigning #HLVB Coach of the Year. Skeens, a junior outside hitter, earned Honorable Mention All-Horizon League accolades last season after averaging a team-best 3.10 kills per and earning #HLVB Tournament MVP honors. DeGeorge, a sophomore outside hitter, was named to the All-Freshman Team last season after averaging 2.78 digs and 1.74 kills per set. DeGeorge also set a Cleveland State freshman class record with 325 total digs during her rookie campaign.
GREENE ON THE BLOCK
After the first three weeks of the 2018 season, sophomore Hannah Greene continues to lead the Horizon League in blocks, averaging 1.52 blocks per set. Greene, who has combined for 50 total blocks this year, also ranks 13th nationally with her 1.52 blocks per set average. Greene has recorded three or more blocks in eight of the nine matches so far this season, including back-to-back nine-block performances against Binghamton and Montana State to start the year.
…CLEVELAND STATE BLOCK PARTY
As a team, the Vikings are averaging 2.79 blocks per set, a mark that leads all Horizon League teams entering the final week of non-league play. Not only are the Vikings at the top of the Horizon League, but they are also ranked in the top-20 nationally in blocks per set and the top-25 in total blocks (92.0). Through nine matches, Cleveland State has recorded 10.0 or more team blocks four times, including a season-high 17.0 total team blocks against Binghamton in the season opener.
GRECOL LEADING THE VIKING OFFENSE
Through the first part of the season, Cleveland State's offense has been led by freshman Christina Grecol, who enters the weekend with 303 total helpers on the year. Grecol, who is the first freshman to lead the Viking offense as the primary setter since Jordan Goad in 2008, currently ranks second among Horizon League players averaging 9.18 assists per set. Grecol's season-high performance came against Harvard two weeks ago, as she tallied 53 assists in the five-set victory over the Crimson.
DOHAR TALLIES 30-DIG MATCH AGAINST BOWLING GREEN
Last time out, senior Rachael Dohar recorded the first 30-dig match of her career, finishing right on the number against Bowling Green to mark a career-high for the Cleveland State libero. Dohar's 30-dig effort marked the first 30-dig match for the Vikings since the 2015 season, while it was the 10th 30+ dig match from a Horizon League player this season. For the year, Dohar is averaging 4.85 digs per set and has tallied 20+ digs in three matches this year.
…CONNER HELPING THE VIKING DEFENSE
Freshman MacKenzie Conner has also been a constant in the Viking rotation this season, appearing as a defensive specialist in all nine matches. For the year, Conner is averaging 2.10 digs per set, and most recently recorded a season-best performance against Bowling Green with 16 total digs.
STOVER PICKS UP OFFENSIVE EFFORTS
Over the last two weeks, senior Rachel Stover has been firing on all cylinders, recording 49 kills over the last five matches, including a career-high 15-kill performance against Bowling Green last time out. For the season, Stover is averaging a career-best 2.12 kills per set and has tallied 70 total kills through the first nine matches.
HEAD COACH CHUCK VOSS
Chuck Voss is in his 19th season at the helm of the Vikings, and owns a 341-208 (.621) overall record at CSU. Under Voss the Vikings have recorded 15 winning seasons, including nine straight entering the 2018 season. Cleveland State has eclipsed the 20-win mark eight times since Voss took over the program, and has captured Horizon League Tournament titles five times (2007, 2012, 2015, 2016 & 2017) under his guidance. During the 2016 season, Voss became the all-time winningest coach in program history and became the the only active Horizon League coach to reach the 300-win mark at their current school.
A LOOK BACK AT 2017
Last season Cleveland State captured its fifth Horizon League Regular Season and Tournament title, finishing the year with a 22-8 overall record. Cleveland State's 22 wins marked the program's 17th 20-win season, while it also marked the eighth time under Voss that the Vikings have reached the 20-win plateau. After claiming the Horizon League Tournament title, the Vikings earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time over the last 10 seasons, earning a First Round matchup against No. 13 Utah.
The three-time defending champion Vikings will begin Horizon League play at home next Friday (September 21), hosting Youngstown State before traveling to Oakland on Sunday, September 23).